The most renowned gaming company, Nintendo just emerged as a winner in a $2.4M lawsuit against Tropic Haze, the founder of Yuzu. Nintendo had sued the developers of Yuzu in US federal court, with the intent of squashing the open-source Nintendo Switch emulator for good. The two companies have now agreed to a settlement wherein the developers of Yuzu owe Nintendo $2.4 million.

Yuzu will now surrender its domain ownership to Nintendo and delete all copies and materials that infringe on Nintendo’s IP rights. Furthermore, Tropic Haze has permanently stopped the support of the Yuzu and its 3DS emulator called Citra immediately. Yuzu’s official X account posted a statement explaining the same. They believe their software has given rise to unintentional piracy and thus decided to discontinue it.

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Know Yuzu

For the unversed, Yuzu is a free Nintendo Switch emulator that was released in 2018 months after Nintendo launched the Nintendo Switch. It could run almost any Nintendo Switch game on PC, with needed enhancements. All you needed was legally sourced prod.keys and game ROM files but the issue is most people don’t source legally. Yuzu doesn’t offer pirated or leaked games itself, but Nintendo targeted the company because the emulator is one of the few ways to play those games.

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The Lawsuit

In the lawsuit, Nintendo alleges that Yuzu violates the anti-circumvention and anti-trafficking provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). They are also accusing the creators of copyright infringement. The lawsuit alleges Yuzu is “primarily designed” to circumvent several layers of Nintendo Switch encryption so its users can play copyrighted Nintendo games.

The $2.4 million settlement includes estimated attorney fees and damages that the court believes Yuzu caused Nintendo based on information the Big N provided in the original suit. One piece of evidence Nintendo submitted showed that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was playable on Yuzu a week before the game officially launched and was downloaded over 1 million times on the emulator.

The Settlement

Both Nintendo and Tropic Haze, the company behind Yuzu, filed for a final judgment and permanent injunction on Monday, March 4, according to court documents. The two parties agreed on a settlement in lieu of a full trial. The court issued Tropic Haze with a permanent injunction as well. (Permanent injunctions are court orders that force a person or company to cease a specific action.)

This permanent injunction will prohibit Tropic Haze from distributing Yuzu or any software that circumvents Nintendo’s anti-piracy protections and will force it to destroy any materials tied to Yuzu. It includes materials used to make the software run. They can’t market it on its website or social media either. The injunction also prohibits Tropic Haze from using the Yuzu domain indefinitely. The settlement now requires a judge’s approval, which is promptly pending.

The Nintendo and Yuzu lawsuit has ignited once again a debate on emulation and whether it is inherently illegal. Of course, emulation fans don’t believe that. A lot of people see Yuzu and other emulators as an important tool for video game preservation. Nintendo, clearly, disagrees. How do you feel about this lawsuit and the result? If you’re an avid gamer, do let us know your thoughts in the comments below.